- Identify internal champions within the business and involve them in the evaluation process. This move will not only gain valuable insight in to the best tool for the job, but it will create advocates for change management when the solution gets implemented. If they were part of the selection, they will have a vested interest in making it work and encourage others to get on board. Also consider the alternative…management makes a decision on the technology to be used in the business, but expect others to live with it and make it work. If you were the coach of a basketball team, would you order new shoes for your players without asking them about their sizes and preferences? You would have a have a mutiny on your hands! Get them involved early in the selection process and they will help you find the shoe that fits.
- Stay organized and have a plan. Whether you proceed with a formal RFP process or a lighter RFI, once you let the vendors in, you will be dealing with a barrage of questions and requests. Control the conversation. Deliver consistent messaging and documents to the vendors. Evaluate the solutions on a common set of metrics, tied to the requirements gathered when you analyzed yourself. Require input from your “champions” that will help drive change and adoption. See the software in action and ensure that your specific business nuances are demonstrated.
- Pay close attention to the overall value proposition and likely shift in your support model. Depending on your current state, there will likely be a drastic change in the people required to support not only the business processes, but also the IT staff required to support the business software. This resource shift must be taken in to consideration as you understand the total cost of ownership and offset for the license fees you will be incurring.
Feel free to reach out if you have specific questions with regards to this blog.